Insightful Discussions
May 21, 2021

Chambliss & Rabil Contractors: The Story Of Our Growth / 45 Years In Business

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Our Beginning (1975 through 2000):
 
In 1975, Norman Chambliss and Jim Rabil formed Chambliss & Rabil Contractors in Rocky Mount, N.C. Rocky Mount was a thriving business and banking hub. Being sons of building contractors, we were able to slowly grow our company into an experienced and competitive contracting firm. We initially built houses. We both worked on our jobsites. That “hands on” experience would prove valuable as we grew the company.  In the early 80s, we transitioned into light commercial projects with an emphasis on office buildings. By the 90s, Chambliss & Rabil had grown to over 20 employees and kept 5 to 7 commercial projects underway at any given time. We carved a niche in medical construction focusing primarily on dental, optometry, family medical and hospital renovations. Those medical projects became the foundation for our future growth.

Expansion into Wilmington (first 10 years):
 
In the early 2000s, we opened our office in Wilmington. Our love for the Wilmington lifestyle plus the steady Wilmington economy made the decision easy. Yates Chambliss had recently finished college and was eager to join the family business. (Today, 20 years later, Yates runs the Wilmington division.) Being new to Wilmington, we knew we had to be patient and prove that we were a solid, quality driven company. We needed to become a part of the community. We gradually completed a portfolio of successful projects. In order to build our Wilmington volume, we relied on our medical construction experience. Thanks to a  jump start from local dentists Bill Gierie (Wilmington) and Aaron Wilharm (Oak Island), we built dozens of dental offices from Jacksonville to Southport. We formed a residential division focusing on large restoration projects on Figure Eight Island and Wrightsville Beach. We stuck by our mission statement of “always a high level of communication, neat and clean sites, start and finish on time, demand quality, stay in budget and stand behind our work.” We got to know our clients on a professional and personal level. By 2010, the economic engine in the Wilmington area was heating up. A Raleigh division was on our horizon.

2010 through 2020 in Wilmington (the next 10 years):
 
By 2010, Chambliss & Rabil had expanded our focus in the Wilmington construction market to include retail, churches, hospitality and food service. Clients were engaging our company to join their projects in the pre-design stage. We had assembled a team of outstanding project superintendents and managers. We formed loyal relationships with many of the area’s finest subcontractors and suppliers. We joined local organizations. We grew methodically and carefully. Projects such as Porters Neck and Pine Valley Country Clubs, Elderhaus Senior Care, Hampstead United Methodist Church, Slice of Life, Brunswick Forest Commercial, ATMC, New Center Commons and Paws & Claws Animal Hospital came our way. Our dental office and medical office volume continued to grow. Wilmington has been good to Chambliss & Rabil. We look back at our decision to locate a division in Wilmington as the best business decision we ever made.

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